Augustine, after speaking about the warfare between the flesh and the spirit:I want the whole to be healed, because I am the whole. I dont want my flesh to be eternally separated from me, like something foreign; I want it to be entirely healed with me. If you do not want this, I dont know what you think of the flesh; I guess you think it comes from who knows where, as if from a hostile nation. Thats false; its heretical; its blasphemous: mind and flesh have a single artisan. When he created man, he made them both, joined them both; he subjected the flesh to the soul and the soul to himself. If the soul had remained subject to her Lord, the flesh would have remained always subject to its mistress. (Augustine, Sermon 30, 4)
Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.